Everything seemed to be going the Los Angeles Lakers way on Christmas in their matchup with the mighty Golden State Warriors. They took a 65-50 lead into halftime after stifling the Warriors offense (and riding the Steph Curry Christmas Curse). They were extending that lead in the third quarter to 71-57 when superstar LeBron James tried to reclaim a loose ball and seemed to slip, pulling his body in all sorts of bad directions.

James clearly grimaces after the play and gingerly gets back on defense to help defend a Golden State shot. Once that play was over, however, he called for an injury timeout and was clearly in some serious pain, favoring his groin and upper leg area. He then walked carefully back to the locker room for examination.

Eagle-eyed viewers said it was clear to them that James thinks something “popped,” which does not sound good.

And sure enough, the Lakers announced soon after that it was a left groin strain and James was questionable to return.

We’ll have to wait to see the severity but a groin strain is the kind of injury that could keep James out of action for three-to-four weeks. Steph Curry recently returned from his own groin injury after three weeks out. Of course, we won’t know for sure until the Lakers provide more details.

In the meantime, it could be a crushing setback for a team that was starting to put the pieces together. They may still pull off the upset here on Christmas and if they do it puts them in striking distance of the top of the Western Conference standings. There’s still plenty of basketball to play, and who knows what might happen if the Lakers actually do go after Anthony Davis, but either way, the team obviously has the potential to make some noise this season. Without LeBron, however, that noise is going to get a lot quieter.

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Neighborhoods.com, 55places.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.